Water is one of our most important resources and everyone, including children, should be aware of the important role water plays in our lives. Without water life on this earth would be impossible. Therefore, it is important for children to know the value of water and how precious it is in our lives. We should never waste a valuable resource like water.
The value of water
Every living thing on earth needs water to survive. If water ceased to exist, animals, plants, people and everything else would eventually die. Although water covers 71% of the earth’s surface, less than 1% of all water on Earth can be used for drinking. The rest is salt water or is permanently frozen.
The body is made up of about 60% water (our brains = 70% water and our lungs are 90% water.) Water helps our blood flow into the blood vessels and supplies vital nutrients to our bodies. Water helps waste-matter be eliminated from our body through our excretory system. Water is vital to our bodies functioning properly.
Water has many uses in our homes. Without water in our homes, living would be practically impossible. We use water for cleaning dishes, washing clothes, preparing food, making delicious drinks, taking baths and flushing toilets.
For many years, the oceans, lakes and rivers have provided a means of travel for humans. Years ago, men used the sea to explore the earth. Many explorers reached the undeveloped parts of the world by using ships and boats to reach new destinations. Still today, we use several waterways to send oil tankers and container ships all over the world and many people still enjoy cruises and water sports.
Bodies of water offer an easily-accessible and abundant supply of fish which is important and affordable food type for humans. Many foods are also high in water content and the water in these foods assists in us staying hydrated. Vegetables are comprised of 70-92 % water, eggs are 75% water, chicken is nearly 69% water and red meat is about 63% water. Even dairy foods, such as yogurt and ice cream, are relatively high in water content
We believe water conservation starts at home- with children. It is easy to teach children from the beginning the importance of conserving one of Earth’s most valuable resources. Together, we can build a foundation of knowledge so children grow up to be stewards of the Earth.
Here are some ways you can teach your kids to appreciate this life-giving resource and help ensure there’s enough for everyone on the planet:
Explain to kids why saving water is important in the first place
Observe which of your children’s habits don’t necessarily contribute to water conservation efforts. Explain to children that short showers help save water. Set up a timer for a pre-set number of minutes so that they can change their habits. Apply the same habit for everyday tasks like brushing their teeth or washing their hands– where they should not allow water to flow freely. Alternatively, teach kids to use a glass of water to wet their toothbrush, rinse their mouth and rinse their toothbrush once they have finished cleaning their pearly whites.
Explain to kids that even though water can be had on demand, it is not “bottomless” and there are other parts of the world where clean water is not an easy resource – so they should do their share in helping conserve water.
Have the kids assist in household chores (e.g. doing dishes or laundry) and explain to them how water can be saved when performing such tasks. E.g. only washing laundry or dishes when there is a full load rather than doing small loads (this saves water and electricity.)
Be a good role model
What better way is there to teach your kids how to conserve water than by being a good role model for them? Take short showers with a bucket to capture run-off water, turn off the tap when washing your hands and only use a glass of water when brushing your teeth. Make sure your children understand how you are doing your share in helping conserve water, so that they can follow suit.
Post reminders around the house to encourage kids to conserve water
Teaching kids how to conserve water should be fun. Create a fun art-activity by providing children with paper, paints, crayons, glitter etc and have them create their own colourful “water saving” signs to stick up in the bathroom or above the kitchen sink. The signs should remind them to turn the tap off while brushing their teeth, or for them to only take quick showers.
Do science projects that teach the value of conserving water
If you have teens or tweens, use science as a way of teaching them how to conserve water. A perfect experiment for this is installing a rain barrel. Explain to the kids what happens after rain falls – where does all the water go? Instead of letting the rain water get soaked by the soil, installing a rain barrel is an excellent way to conserve water and treat it as a precious resource. Explain to the children that during a drought, no water will be collected by rain barrels so it’s vital to capture and conserve water when there is ample rain and water.
Teach kids how to reuse everyday water
Encourage your kids to collect “old” water from leftover water bottles, half-drank cups or the cooled water from boiled eggs or the drained water from pasta. Place a bucket in the shower and give the children the daily responsibility of throwing the “grey and old water” from the shower over the lawn. Have the children hydrate your grass and bushes instead of turning on the sprinklers or the hose in the middle of the day. Make sure your kids understand why it’s so important to reuse water when possible instead of simply pouring unwanted water down the drain. Encourage children to constantly be on the lookout for water that can be reused.
When you teach kids the necessity of water conservation, you’re giving them a valuable foundation to build and learn from as they grow. After all, they are the ones who we are going to look to in several years for new solutions to water shortages.